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Report: Josh McDaniels tried to get back in Browns coaching search

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

The Browns have been in the news a lot lately for the dysfunctional nature in which they've reorganized their coaching staff and front office over the last few weeks. It might've been worse than anyone ever knew.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer has a revealing piece Thursday (which is well worth your click and full read) in which she details how things went down in Cleveland, with the end result being the dismissal of Michael Lombardi and the "phasing out" of Joe Banner with the Browns.

In that profile is an interesting nugget about would-be candidate Josh McDaniels, who's still the offensive coordinator of the Patriots after withdrawing from the candidacy. Cabot reports that "within about 24 hours" of withdrawing, McDaniels called the Browns and tried to get back in the coaching search before they ultimately ended up hiring Mike Pettine.

Unsurprisingly, it was Lombardi who pushed for McDaniels as a head coach, believing he could succeed in his second stop much like Bill Belichick. (Who, ironically, was fired from the Browns in his first stop as a head coach.)

Cabot reports, despite the team's public statements to the contrary, that McDaniels could've been their last-minute "mystery candidate." According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, McDaniels was in the mix and was considered the Browns "last-resort, safety-net option."

The McDaniels issue created, Cabot reports, controversy between Lombardi and Banner. As did the candidacy of Greg Schiano, who received recommendations from Belichick for the Browns job.

According to multiple reports, Banner wasn't remotely thrilled about the possibility of hiring Schiano and his lack of interest in Schiano -- when his boss Haslam was clearly interested -- apparently created friction between those two men.

So, to sum up ... Banner and Lombardi were at significant odds with one another and, reportedly, Banner was ready to fire Lombardi. But Banner and Haslam were also at significant odds and Haslam was gearing up to fire Banner.

Ultimately Haslam simply cleaned house. There's nothing functional about it. The whole process was a pretty big embarrassment. It's entirely possible when the smoke clears that Cleveland will be in a better place. It just might be a while before the smoke gets out of the way.

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